Episode 251: Holiday Party


Release Date: Dec. 24, 2016

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   210 min.

Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS




Crotch chocolate, Mornington Crescent, bad jokes and The Ghost of Board Games Past...

Join our party of misfit nerds for a festive, freewheeling conversation spanning the wide world geekdom. Most of all, be ready to laugh!

Guests: Mark Smalley (Indianapolis, IN), Geir Harald Helgeid (Stavanger, Norway), Katherine Rosland (Stavanger, Norway), Darrell Ottery (Reading, UK), Daniel Jensen (Linkoping, Sweden), Mark Wilder (Chicago, IL), Ezra Denney, (Alameda, CA), Lucio Rodriguez (Riverside, CA), Beth Heile (Chicago, IL), John Knoerzer (Chicago, IL), Doug Richardson (Gresham, OR), Jay Bartelt (Chicago, IL), plus Francie Broadie (Indianapolis, IN)! 

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Cast of Characters

Jay Bartelt is a lifelong gamer and one of the organizers of the Gaming Hoopla, a non-profit game convention which raises money for cancer research.


Francie Broadie lives in the padded cell with her partner in crime, Stephen. She loves cats, knitting, folk music and makes beautiful beaded jewelry.


Noted wallflower Ezra Denney is a theatre nerd, power forward, lifelong gamer, Giants and Warriors fan. He works in the non-profit sector. He plays games at a regular meet up in the Bay Area where all are welcome.

Alameda Board Gamers

Beth Heile & John Knoerzer are part of the BGG production crew. 

BGG livestream archive

Beth is an assitive technology expert for special needs students. 

John is a licensed clinical social worker.

John's web site

Daniel Jensen is an accomplished Go player, a rhyme smithy and The Spiel's Swedish intern. He's the man behind the scenes who helps us keep the show running, especially during convention season. He's a fan of He-Man and and avid comic collector.

Swedish rhymes

Swedish Go Association


Geir Harald Helgeid  & Katherine Rosland are from Stavanger Norway.  You can find them rocketing across the countryside in Serenity, their Tesla.

They are both active in the LARP community in Norway and active volunteers with their local gaming group and convention.


Alea Jacta Est

Darrell Ottery and his wife Becky own Eclectic Games, located in Reading, UK. They manage the shop with help from their feline companions, including Loki (pictured). Darrell enjoys a pint, a nip of scotch and is a wizard at social deduction games. 

Eclectic Games

Doug RIchardson is an actor, driver and professional game explainer. He loves good beer, good food and loves baseball (especially the Giants). He and his wife Patty live in Gresham, Oregon. And he's close friends with Lyle Otterbein.

Portland Board Game Meetup

Mark Smalley is an avid gamer, reader and is a huge fan of roller coaster and theme parks. He also has a huge crush on game designer Tom Lehman.  His pal Henson (a Chihuahua) is an avid listener of The Spiel.

Tom Lehmann's web site

Mark Wilder is an 80 year old woman trapped in the body of a 40 year old Chicagoan. Mark's interests include contract Bridge, opera and unexpired soda. 

Chicago Contract Brisge Assoc.

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Mark's pal Roscoe P Coltrane (a bloodhound) has a large following online!

Roscoe's site

Lucio Rodriguezed was once a mild-mannered scientist until the day he was bitten by a radioactive writer. He now fights crime on the mean streets, spinning yarns wherever he goes.

He is a husband and proud father of two girls. He is aboard game fanatic and long time friend/fan of the show.

You can new stories from Lucio on Saturday Morning Serial.



Betty Crocker's Crock Pot Hot Chocolate

Manhattan - Makers Mark bourbon, Antica Vermouth, Angostura Bitters

Beer - Corsendonk

Scotch - Balvennie 12 year, double wood

Bulmers Original Cider

Beer - Reindeer Tears, Heathen Brewing

Beer - Even More Jesus, Evil Twin Brewing

Julebrus - seasonal Norwegian soda

Jarzebiak - Polish vodka infused with Rowan berries

Lester's Fixins Bacon Soda

Melba's Fixins Key Lime Pie Soda


Rogue One


Favorite Games of 2016.



Terraforming Mars

Great Western Trail

Fabled Fruit

First Class


One Night Werewolf


Arena of the Planeswalkers

Team Play


The Colonists

Pandemic Legacy

Miscellaneous References


Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex by Larry Niven

I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue

Mornington Crescent


College of Wizardry

Swedish Rhymes (Julklappsrim) Link

Special Thanks to Daniel Jensen for providing the rhymes!

Great Western Trail

Terraforming Mars

Oh My Goods

Feast for Odin

Things We Like 2015

Mark Wilder

52 + Joker

Senheiser Wireless Headphones

My Brother, My Brother & Me


Dark Matter

Geir Harald


The Expanse book series  |  Scifi TV series





Black Mirror

Star Wars Tiki Glasses

Wedge Ice Maker

Ezra Denney


Marvel Unlimited

Darrell Ottery

7th Sea, 2nd Edition

Baron Munchhausen RPG

Alas Vegas

Beth & John

Three Body Problem

Houdini Silicone Coasters

Mark Smalley


The Amazing World of Gumball

Dark Night

Doug Richardson


The Art of Fielding

Daniel Jensen

Dirk Gently

Swedish Dicks

The Good Place

Jay Bartelt

Stranger Things


Tower Fall

Bro Force

Dark Stories

Puzzle Pint


Lovecraft Country


Music credits include:

PIcking Fights for Christmas  by Doye O'Dell   |  (Weird Ass Xmas)

Hannukah in Santa Monica   by Tom Lehrer  |  (Weird Ass Xmas)

Snowman, Snowman, Sweet Potato Nose  by the Jaynetts  |  (Weird Ass Xmas)

Back Door Santa  by BB King  |  (Weird Ass Xmas)

Hark! Our Turret Voices Sing!  by Harry Callaghan  |  (Weird Ass Xmas)

Sugar Rum Cherry  by Duke Ellington  |  (Weird Ass Xmas)

Too Fat to Be Santa Claus  by Bill Darnell & The Smith Brothers  |  (Weird Ass Xmas)


There may be some goofs in there somewhere. Let us know if (when?) you find one!